Fairview, Todd County, Kentucky

This little village, over which Todd and Christian Counties have for years striven to obtain the mastery, still lies where it always has, on the dividing line between the two belligerent counties, and situated on the main road from Russellville to Hopkinsville, about twelve miles east of the latter town. It was laid off on land belonging to Col. William Morrow in 1847, by act of the Legislature, approved February 7 of the previous year, Col. Nathaniel Burrus being the surveyor. The original plat, to which there have been no subsequent additions, consisted of twenty acres of land, lined off into forty lots of equal size, with twenty lots lying upon either side of the main road. The village was first named Davis-burg, in honor of Samuel Davis, father of Hon. Jefferson Davis. It was for some time afterward called Georgetown, after, it is said, George Nichols, who was her first merchant. Nichols’ principal business, however, was that of tavern-keeper, though he kept a small stock of groceries and general goods, generally on hand. Whisky, however, was the main article for sale, and this was dealt out in amassing quantities, and the place was always the appointed rendezvous of the fighting and riffraff element of the early society. In such regularity was the occurrence of wholesale sprees and pugilistic encounters, that the daily programme was by common consent made to contain an act or two of this sort, and drunken hilarity and general villainy ran riot for a number of years. But this state of things finally gave way under the influence exerted by the steady improvement in the general morals of the community, and an improved condition of affairs inaugurated, which has ever since controlled the movements of the immediate society.

Fairview being incorporated and organized under what is known as the ” Old Law; ” the city fathers” consisted of a body composed of five trustees, whose residence did not necessarily have to be within the corporate limits. The first board of such officers who presided over the destinies of the little village was composed of the following names: John W. Lackey. H. B. Wilkins, Wilson Shreeve, W. W. Darnall, J. S. Lindsay, L. T. Templeton and William Morrow. The village has from time to time been required to conform its municipal government to the various legislative enactments, but the principal change occurred in 1868, in which year it was reorganized under the new law. The present Board of Trustees is made up of Nelson Wade, Richard Vaughan, T. H. Shaw, John W. Yancey and A. C. Sayne; the two Magistrates of the. district being W. B. Brewer and W. S. Wyatt.

A post office was established at this point soon after the town’s incorporation, and it was named Fairview, and the same appellation was given the village, and still later the district. Col. William Morrow served as the first Postmaster, and he was followed successively by J. S. Lindsay,

Fayette Smith, J. C. Sims, F. H. Shaw, J. T. Smith, F. H. Shaw and W. B. Brewer, the present. incumbent.

Fairview has always shown considerable activity in the mercantile trade, notwithstanding the fact that she has never enjoyed any railroad facilities. Her location commands the patronage of a considerable scope of good country, and her business career has been a comparatively bright and prosperous one. Among her first merchants were Morrow & Lind-say, who opened up at this point about 1847, and continued about six years. Shaw & Vaughan commenced business here soon afterward, and Mr. Vaughan is still behind the counter,” being now in partnership with a brother of his first partner. Sayne & Meacham and Tandy Bros. were early merchants in the grocery line, and following them were Jack Hightower and Smith & Stahl, the latter firm opening a dry goods store about 1850. Then came M. C. Kennedy & Co., and Brown & Meacham. The latter firm sold its stock of goods to M. II. Wood, who continued in business up to the time of his death from cholera, in 1867; Cason and Yates did business for some time at this point, afterward becoming partners, and upon the death of Cason the business was continued by Yates, and afterward by E. B. Walker, in the interest of Mr. Cason’s widow. This is only a partial list of the early merchants of Fairview, but it contains the names of the principal ones, or those who remained here in business any considerable length of time. The business representatives at the present time are :

General Store- Shaw & Vaughan.

Grocery and Saloon- J. W. Yancy and John Everett. Groceries-W. W. Ballard and W. B. Brewer.

Drugs- C. E. Tandy.

Furniture- Nelson Wade.

Blacksmiths- McGehee & Hawkins, and McGehee & Elkins, and one shop by J. Minns, situated outside the corporate limits. The resident physicians are Drs. Stuart, Armstrong and Browder.

If there was ever any brilliancy in the future for the general prosperity of Fairview, it was materially dimmed by the ruthless destruction, by the fire fiend, of Shaw, Vaughan & Hoy’s fine brick custom mill, a monument to the energy and spirited enterprise of those connected with its erection. It was located near the east limits of the town, and was constructed at a cost of $18,000 about 1866. Its lease of active operation was short, its total destruction occurring but a couple of years afterward, with no insurance to reimburse its impoverished owners. It would have been of infinite benefit to the whole country and to the village, and, but for its untimely destruction, would have become a most potent factor in the town’s commercial development and business prosperity. Several years previous to the destruction of the mill, Shaw & Vaughan sustained the loss by fire of their large frame store, with its entire contents. The loss was a total one in $30,000. The energetic proprietors rebuilt, how-ever, the following year, a substantial brick building taking the place of the old one.

The Masonic fraternity is represented in Fairview by Lodge No. 214, whose place of meeting is situated in Christian County, and by Moore Lodge, No. 75, Royal Arch Chapter. This lodge received its charter October 16, 1860, with Absalom Brown, H. P.; T. H. Shaw, K.; and M. A. Frits, Scribe, who with the following names made up the charter members: M. E. Kennedy, J. C. Lesher, E. S. Stuart, Rice Dulin, B. F. Rollins, R. Y. Pendleton and A. M. DuIin. The present officers are: E. S. Stuart, H. P.; M. D. Brown, K.; and H. E. Morton, Scribe. The lodge is not in a very prosperous condition. The I. O. 0. F. was represented by a lodge organized here about 1855, but which did not survive the war.

About the earliest physician to locate near Fairview, of which there is any record, was Dr. Harrison, a botanical practitioner. He came about 1807, and locating in the north part of the county, practiced throughout the adjacent country. Following him many years later, was Dr. Fulcher, of the allopathic school. He located south of Fairview, about 1833, and practiced until his death in 1845. Since then the following physicians have either located here or practiced in this immediate vicinity: Drs. H. W. Darnall, Armstrong Stuart, Lesher, Ray, Richardson, Wilson, Dudley and Browder.


Battle, J. H., W. H. Perrin, Counties of Todd and Christian, Kentucky : historical and biographical, Chicago : F. A. Battey Publishing Co., 1884.

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